Wondering who South Walean metallers I Fight Bears are? We asked bassist/vocalist Drew Hamley to tell us all about the band and their antics in our A-Z challenge!
A song that made you want to make music?
There are so many but if I go back to being a youngster I’d have to say Nothing Else Matters by Metallica.
Best rider you’ve ever had?
Cake, beer, pringles, apples, Jaeger, sliced ham and a loaf of bread. We played a really small venue in Swansea early on in the bands career where we thought it would just be the case of turn up, line check and then play. When we got there, we had slabs of alcohol, bread and fillings to make sandwiches and even a cake. Now that’s how you look after someone!
Craziest thing you’ve experienced in the band?
We gave Michael Paget (Bullet For My Valentine) one of our bear fighter t-shirts as a thank you for helping us part mix and engineer our record. A week later a picture emerges on BFMV’s twitter where the band are standing in front of thousands of Russian fans and Padge is wearing the t-shirt! He wore it in front of crowds over two nights which is crazy.
Deepest lyric one of your songs features?
For me personally it’s the lines of the chorus of a song called Trust which features on the record. ‘You gazed at me, but I have to leave. It’s too late for us. Our time is over.’ the song is about struggling to move on from a relationship that has long ended. I just feel the lines and melody in that part carry a tremendous amount of weight.
Easiest song you wrote?
In all honesty, none of the songs in this band are particularly easy to write or perform ha ha. If anything, when I’m writing lyrics for a song. If it’s a subject that I’m personally driven by emotionally then the words can often come easily.
Favourite song in your set?
It’s got to be a track called ‘Envision‘ which will be our next single from this record. It was written largely by Chris our guitarist and was a pretty difficult track to get around when playing the bass initially. But now I’ve got it down I love playing it. It’s challenging and fun to play.
Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?
For me personally, it would have to be Maynard James Keenan. The man has a voice of an angel and just incredible lyrics. I’d love to see what he’d come up with on one of our tracks.
Hardest thing about being in a band?
Bands always come with challenges and it’s difficult for any band trying to make it in this current industry. But we don’t do this because it’s essential to become famous or for it to become the day job. Sure that would be nice but ultimately we do it because we love it. So any challenges that arise, we deal with it collectively as a band and find a way forward.
Interesting fact about one of your members?
Marc James can lift heavy things. By that I mean he does a lot of weight lifting and has appeared in competition only just recently.
Jokes you have in the band?
Ha ha. All the jokes in this band are not in any way fit for public consumption. We do have a greeting that we give each other though whenever we see each other in person. It’ll give you an insight to what we’re like. The greeting is and always will be ‘wanker’.
Key to writing a song?
Start well, and end well-er. Every member of this band brings a different strength and different influence to what we write and produce as a whole. We embrace the digital age and use the internet a lot to exchange ideas as well as continue an online group chat to smooth out ideas through discussion. Initially it starts with Chris and Marc coming up with a load of riffs and then pulling them into a rough structure. Scott works out his ideas for the drums. Drew and Dan work out vocally what they feel should happen in the song and then the demo reaches a stage where we’re happy to develop it into a song we can then play in a live situation and later record properly for a future record.
Longest distance you’ve travelled to play a show?
Unfortunately, we haven’t as of yet travelled any great distance to play a show due to logistics, work and money. But that’s something we’re looking to change in 2018.
Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?
I’ve met a lot of amazing musicians over the years and am continually inspired by musicians both big and small in the industry. There is one though from my home town named Gary Bevan who is a close friends Dad. In the early years, he helped tremendously musically and overall with my knowledge of production which I’ve carried through to this very day. It’s also incredibly inspiring when I spend time in the studio with Michael Paget at his home studio. We both carry a huge passion for writing and production. So, when we’re in the room together we both feed off of each other.
New band you’d recommend?
If you haven’t checked out our friends in Those Damn Crows, then I suggest you go and do that now. One of the best rock bands out there right now playing the scene.
Opening for this band would be ideal?
Easily either Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God or Parkway Drive. Any of those. But there’s so many here that we could list.
Place you’d most like to tour?
I’d love to play all over the world, but a lot of Europe is beautiful and I would be more than happy to see more of that.
Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?
‘Take your broken heart. Make it into art.’ – Carrie Fisher. Perfect quote for any band really. She is sorely missed in the world. RIP
Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?
We opted for a self titled record largely for two reasons. 1. We felt the record was a statement of intent and an introduction as to who we are, what we do and what we’re all about. 2. None of us could settle on a name for the record ha ha.
See us live at?
We’re currently working to fill up our calendar with shows in 2018 all of which will be posted through our various social media outlets. One show we can announce now is our album launch show which will take place on Feb 16th 2018 the day of release at Hobos Bridgend.
The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?
Yes and no. It’s easy to come to that conclusion as you get older because your tastes change. I still think that the metal scene needs a substantial shake up. There’s a lot of bands who seem to be trying to write the same type of genre and unfortunately for that reason, gigs are increasingly becoming stale and attendances are dropping. Time to go back to the drawing board. Rather than write what you think the industry wants to hear, write what you want to hear. Be bold. Try new things. And above all, write good songs. Easier said than done.
We’re pretty standard on the merchandise front currently with t-shirts and CDs but there’s room to try new things in the future which we’re looking into. Watch this space.
Variations you’d like to do of any of your songs?
There’s one or two songs that could possibly carry over to an acoustic version. It would be a huge challenge to re-imagine but a fun one.
What do your fans mean to you?
Let’s make it clear. The fans are the most essential thing to any band out there. Without people liking what you do, buying your merchandise (which inadvertently funds the band) or coming to your shows then what do you have? What’s the point? Bands want to progress. They can’t do that without support.
X-rays or any treatments needed for band related injuries?
I think so far Chris (guitarist) has racked up the most amount of injuries from this band. From shredding his finger to pieces trying to get a solo down on a recording to nearly choking to death on water during a show. Thankfully none of us have done any particularly bad injuries this far.
You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?
Without a shadow of a doubt, Dan (vocalist). His time keeping is hands down the worst.
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?
Well I think this was always going to be an obvious answer but any type of bear. You line them up. We’ll fight them.